Home > Uncategorized > Get Ready to Line Up at the DMV

Get Ready to Line Up at the DMV

I read an article from the Chronicle on the show earlier this week about the Real ID Act and it’s implications, once it kicks in in 2008. I was surprised that most callers were unaware of the law. Here’s a snippet of an article from the Copley News Service that explains the basic principles. Getting our licenses renewed is about to become one big hassle! FYI.

SACRAMENTO – In the name of national security, California motorists probably will confront more hassles and higher fees when it’s time to renew their licenses to drive.

Under the federal Real ID Act, California’s 23 million licensed drivers will have to submit to more stringent identification requirements once renewal notices appear in mailboxes starting in May 2008.

But the battle between the states and the federal government over how to make it work is well under way.

Whether coming from Missouri or Mexico, motorists could be kept from legally climbing behind the wheel if they cannot track down birth certificates or other documents demanded by the government.

Drivers also will probably have to renew their licenses in person, forcing the California Department of Motor Vehicles to begin mapping out plans to rent satellite offices and hire more help to handle the expected crunch. At the same time, the $26 renewal fee could double to offset added costs, which could be as high as $400 million during the next five years.

Beyond potential headaches for the nation’s licensed drivers, the Real ID Act has drawn strong criticism and brought together an unusual coalition of liberals, libertarians and others who fear an unprecedented invasion of privacy.

Attacks will escalate this fall when the Bush administration tells states and drivers exactly what they must do to conform and, in effect, draft motor vehicle departments into the war on terror.

“Travel documents are as important as weapons to terrorists,” said Jeff Lungren, a spokesman for Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the Wisconsin Republican who was the principle sponsor of the act.

Congress adopted the Real ID Act in May 2005, arguing that licenses gave the Sept. 11 hijackers unimpeded access to the planes that they used to attack the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Congress made the Real ID Act voluntary – at least technically. But the punishment for not accepting the guidelines will be severe. Licenses issued by states that do not comply will not be recognized as identification to board airplanes, open bank accounts or enter Social Security offices.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is preparing to develop a program once the federal government issues its requirements. Officials expect applicants will have to show proof of legal residency, most likely a birth certificate or passport. A Social Security number and photo identification also may be required.

Much of the information is already required of first-time applicants. But those needing renewals will experience dramatic change.

Today, drivers fill out a simple renewal form and send it in by mail or over the Internet. In the future, they will have to visit a DMV office armed with key identifying documents and a bigger check.

“Once we start telling Californians that they have to march to DMV, show proof of birth and proof of residency, all hell will break loose,” said state Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata, D-Oakland.

“No one will look at George Bush to blame. They’re going to look at who’s doing this: DMV,” he said.

Perata and other legislative leaders have started to question whether California should simply obey. They are urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to use his stature as a prominent Republican to convince the ruling GOP in Washington to guard privacy, provide more time for implementation and send more money.

“Since California is the big dog in the kennel, we ought to be saying ‘Hell no, we’re not going,’ ” Perata said in urging modifications.

The governor has appointed Sunne McPeak, his secretary for Business, Transportation and Housing, to help develop recommendations. However, Schwarzenegger has yet to take an active role.

Under the expected rules, California will have to connect to a 50-state computer network stuffed with personal data used to verify the identities of 240 million licensed drivers nationwide.

Privacy advocates question whether some motor vehicle divisions, already perceived to be inept and admittedly behind the times technologically, can be trusted to safeguard Social Security numbers and other sensitive information valued by identity thieves.

States mulling over compliance also must decide whether to allow illegal immigrants to obtain distinguishable “driving-only” licenses – an option allowed under the Real ID Act. Some states are looking at that provision to help those here legally, but who have difficulty finding residency documents. Those licenses, or certificates, could not be used for identification.

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  1. Bob from San Luis
    July 29, 2006 at 7:28 am

    Yes Dave, the Real ID act is going to be a nightmare that is totally not needed. Here is a link that has quite a few points to be considered. If you read even some of what that link takes you to, you can begin to understand how flawed the whole approach is, and how unnecessary it is. Oh, and this is from the political party that claims “government is bad” or “government is too big”, but in a reach for more power for themselves they are taking more liberty away from us, again.

  2. Michelle/Atascadero
    July 30, 2006 at 12:00 am

    Dave, Last May I renewed my drivers license by mail and sent the usual fee. When my license didn’t come, I phoned the DMV who told me they will not reissue my license until I change my maiden name on my Social Security card, to my married name printed on my license.
    I asked them why they sent me the renewal forms and took my money without contacting me about this new problem, but of course they had no answer.
    In the Social Security office, there were many other women holding their birth and marriage certificates in order to change their last names and renew their drivers license.
    It was not until September, that they finally sent me a hard copy of my license!

  3. Anonymous
    July 31, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    Any discomfort…any delay…any action that can be taken to first get illegal aliens out of cars and off the streets is worth it! Any system that helps identify illegal aliens for jail or export back to Mexico is worth it!
    A foreign government has invaded us and as members of the US militia we must all do our part to protect our nation and ourselves.
    The real number of illegal aliens is closer t0 30 million…and these invaders only flee back to Mexico, who will not extradite them back for proper punishment, have murdered over 58,000 US citizens!
    Extreme times take extreme measures. So shut off your computer, your TV, and get out of the drive through line and do your part to protect what so many died so you could enjoy!

  4. Kirk in SLO
    August 1, 2006 at 4:13 am

    Hey Dave, how about doing a show about the posers that call into your show and pretend to have gotten sick at a well-respected chain restaurant when in reality they’re just trying to promote their crappy local businesses?

    Today’s show reeked of them.

    I’m sure all of the LOCAL business would NEVER pay anyone anything less than a living wage, or use produce grown elsewhere.

    Note to SLO County business owners: If business is SO bad you need to call Congalton on the air and talk trash about other businesses, maybe you should look for a new line of work.

  5. Bob from San Luis
    August 1, 2006 at 5:42 am

    Hey Kirk, I’m a little puzzled; why would asking about local produce be “trash talking”? Yeah, that was me who asked that question, and if you really listened, you would have noticed that I accepted their explanation of why they didn’t buy directly from local suppliers. Since they are operating a chain, I understand that they would use a large distributing scheme in order to maintain a consistency to their operation. I just thought it would be nice if they did use local farmers. The point I think you are missing is that our local community would prefer that if a corporate chain is going to operate in our area, we appreciate it when they operate in a societally responsible manner. The fact that we now know that they pay better than minimum wage, that they provide health care after 6 months and that they showed a real concern for the music volume that one listener didn’t care for and that they called the restaurant immediately after their segment to see if anyone else had any problems with their food shows these gentleman really do run a quality operation. I’m sad for you that you only got that some were, in your opinion, only trying to “trash talk” the two men and/or their operation. I personally think that most everybody else who was listening thinks that CPK has a great business going and most will patronize them with enthusiasm.

  6. Kirk in SLO
    August 1, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    Bob, your call was mild compared to the one from the woman who allegedly got ill eating there. After accusing the co-founders of using sub-standard ingredients and injecting their meat with chemicals (cue the black helicopters), she jabbed back with something like, “Well, I know when I eat at locally owned restaurants, I don’t get sick like that.”

    As for produce and the minimum wage, I trust you ask this of all the locally owned restaurants you eat at? Because honestly, I can barely imagine any business in SLO (median cost of housing over $600k) paying a living wage.

    I welcome this new restaurant, and will dine there frequently. SLO needs more quality restaurants.

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